EASY AND FREE LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING GOODIES
 

IT’S no secret that tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in The States – a day dedicated to family and gratitude for all the blessings, both great and small, that we are fortunate enough to experience…and yes, family – be it a family born of blood or one we’ve built by bonds of loving friendship – is one of those blessings (even if it doesn’t always seem that way; after all, what is a family without its little squabbles and annoyances?)

Loving and forgiving each other despite how much we may drive each other crazy is precisely what makes a family, regardless of what that family looks like, a family.  We suppress the urge to spike Know-It-All Cousin Nettie’s wine with fast-acting laxatives and we keep on loving each other despite our shortcomings…because that’s family.

Since this wonderful holiday of food, family and fun can be a little stressful I’ve put together a couple of things to make your day a little easier with these…

 

EASY AND FREE LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING GOODIES!

 

“GIVE THANKS” RUSTIC WOOD GARLAND

EASY AND FREE LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING GOODIES

 

I created this easy to make barn wood garland for those of you who need a little last minute help with decorations for the day.  Just download the garland pdf here, print it on heavy weight paper or card stock (so the edges don’t curl), cut out the pieces, punch out the holes in each corner, string it together with ribbon, raffia or baker’s twine and hang it from anywhere – the wall, the fireplace mantel (do I need to tell you be mindful of any fires you light? No, I thought not…but I’m neurotic so it couldn’t be helped)…you get the idea.  Super easy!

 

** BONUS:  FOR ANYONE THAT HAS THE TIME AND NEEDS SPARKLE AS MUCH AS THE AIR YOU BREATHE, YOU CAN TAKE A TINY BIT OF ELMER’S GLUE, USING AN ARTIST’S BRUSH, PLACE A SMALL AMOUNT OF GLUE (THE EDGES OF LIGHTER WEIGHT PAPER WILL CURL IF YOU USE TOO MUCH) IN A FINE LINE ALONG THE EDGES AND SPRINKLE GOLD, SILVER OR COPPER GLITTER TO CREATE A TWINKLING DECORATIVE BORDER TO EACH PIECE OF THE GARLAND.  **

 
 

PRINTABLE GRATITUDE LIST

EASY AND FREE LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING GOODIES

 

I created this free printable gratitude list for you to use as you see fit for the day.  I thought it would be perfect to give one to every person joining in your festivities and let them jot down exactly what they’re thankful for and then everyone shares their list.

I intentionally left the sheet blank (instead of lined) so that the younger people who are present (or those who are more visual than verbal) can draw their list instead of writing it.  Not everyone is comfortable expressing themselves with words so make sure there are pencils and crayons available for the budding artists in your group so they can show you exactly what they are grateful for.

 

AND WITH THAT I’LL LEAVE YOU TO IT.

 

I hope you all have a beautiful day overflowing with love, warmth, compassion and, most of all, thankfulness.  Because, despite the hardships we each face, despite our burdens and our sufferings (because we ALL have them, each and every one of us – no one is exempt from troubles and hard times), there is always, ALWAYS, something to be thankful for, even if it’s something as simple as being grateful for a slice of delicious apple pie – there’s always something.  Always.

And in case you were wondering, tomorrow one of the things I will be (and am always) thankful for is you.  You are appreciated and loved and every day I think of how lucky I am to have such wonderful people share in this journey here on Kisses & Chaos.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, forever and always and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Until next time…

 
 

Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick

 
 

IMAGES  ::  DIY OR DIE™ © ALLI WOODS FREDERICK  ::  ORIGINAL IMAGE VIA TOP HOME INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS  ::  ORIGINAL IMAGE VIA TRIOPLEX  ::  GRATITUDE LIST © ALLI WOODS FREDERICK FOR KISSESANDCHAOS.COM  ::

 
 

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divorce is weird

 

AS my ex-husband and I stared at each other eye to eye for the first time in over a year and a half across the desk at the gallery yesterday, I was suddenly struck by how truly odd divorce is.

 

DIVORCE IS WEIRD.

divorce is weird

 

Standing before me was a man I had once made solemn vows to, and he to me, to be with each other until death parted us…and there he stood, now a stranger to me, utterly foreign.

There are some things that never change – I still know his ins and outs and ups and downs, I can see the wheels turning in his mind, his ticks and tells, the odd and random little bits and pieces that, when added together, create the sum total of him.

 

BUT BEYOND THAT HE’S NOW A STRANGER…

 

I know nothing of his daily life – the scraps of events and conversations that comprise his day which will eventually add up and create the sum total of Future Him – and it’s so very odd, this gradual detached process of witnessing intimacy erode into civility and pleasantries.

 

ONE MOMENT SOMEONE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE AND THEN…THEY ARE NOT.

 

Don’t get me wrong – the care is still there.  I feel confident in stating that neither one of us wishes the other ill and that we both, in fact, will always love and care about the other person to a degree and want them to be happy, but it’s a distant and detached sort of care and love.

He’s come to merely exist in the periphery, on the edge with just brief wisps of thoughts given every now and then resulting in a text about “…hey you should check out this band…heard them and know you’ll love ‘em…,” birthday wishes or a quick complaint about a poor storyline decision in a show we both enjoy watching.  The depth of our conversations and connection have dissolved…and it’s weird.

 

DIVORCE IS WEIRD…THE INDIFFERENCE AND DETACHMENT IT CREATES.

 

We had planned our future together and then that future was gone and the drift began as our lives pushed further from each other until we occupied opposite shores, facing different horizons in new landscapes with the random message in a bottle washing ashore once in a blue moon.

 

divorce is weird

 

Part of me wishes I was sad about this.  Shouldn’t I be?  I was at one point but now?… I feel like I should be, but I’m not.  I’m not sad anymore and yesterday realized I hadn’t been for a very, very, very long time.

Instead I find myself intrigued by the oddness of it all – the bizarre mix of the complex and the simple; the plainness of it all; the mundaneness – and relieved that we are both happier now than we ever could have been together, because some problems truly are insurmountable no matter how much love and patience you give to them or how hard to try to overcome them.

So say what you will about the song, but Gotye got it right…in divorce we all become somebody we used to know.  And it’s so very odd, divorce…so very odd.

 

ARE YOU DIVORCED?

 

Have you found the same to be true or was/is your experience completely different?  I think it’s an interesting topic that deserves exploring despite the negative stigma that is still attached to it.  It effects so many of us (more than 50%!  That’s a LOT of people who are impacted by divorce) that it warrants open and honest discussion, don’t you think?  So for those of you who are so inclined, I’d love to know if your experience was similar to mine.  Just leave a comment in the space below if you feel like sharing.  Maybe together we can make sense of the weirdness of it all.

 
 

Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick

 
 

IMAGES  ::  SOURCE UNKNOWN  ::  WOMAN AND SEA – BROOKE SHADEN  ::  DIVORCE – GAME OVER – BOGAC ERGYVENC  ::

  

Posted in LIFE, MY LIFE, SOUL MINGLING | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

 

To Strive, To Seek, To Find, And Not To Yield

 

 

ULYSSES

To Strive, To Seek, To Find, And Not To Yield

 

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought…

 

         …There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

 

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 
 

Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick

 
 

IMAGE  ::  THE TIDE THAT TAKES US © BROOKE SHADEN  ::

 
 

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(THIS POST IS MILDLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK.  IT CONTAINS ONE QUASI-BARE ASS.  WHAT.  I SAID MILDLY…)

 

Photographic Striptease

LUCKY PIERRE’S – NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

 

IN case you missed my incessant mentions about my recent road trip to Houston and New Orleans, well…I took a recent road trip to Houston (my usual annual visit to MD Anderson) and a nice little detour to New Orleans to visit a couple of old friends of mine from my days as a Texan (as though anyone ever stops being a Texan…it rarely happens…there’s just something about Texas.  Live there for a few years and you’ll see what I mean.  It gets in your blood).

 
 

MUSEUM DISTRICT – HOUSTON, TEXAS

 
 

I know I had promised you photos from my travels but I have so many to wade through and edit that it would be well into 2015 before I could give you a post with all of them.  The complete “This Was My Trip” post will be coming soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share a couple of images from a shoot I did for a few friends, the effervescent and incandescent Cherry Brown, the winged femme fatale Miss Monarch M and the mistress of mayhem who hosted the evening at Lucky Pierre’s, the fabulous and flirtatious GoGo McGregor (the photos of her gorgeous and gregarious self will be in the upcoming road trip round up post I mentioned), who all also happen to be amazing burlesque dancers.  So to tide you over I now present to you…

 

A LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHIC STRIPTEASE FROM MY RECENT TRAVELS

 
 

CHERRY BROWN

Photographic Striptease

 
 
Photographic Striptease
 
 
Photographic Striptease
 
 
Photographic Striptease
 
 
 

MISS MONARCH M

Photographic Striptease
 
 
Meredith-6-muted_kc
 
 
Meredith-7-color_kc
 
 
Photographic Striptease
 
 

If you happen to be in New Orleans or are visiting soon, make sure to go to one of their performances.  They put on a fantastic show, guaranteed to titillate and entertain – a good time had by all.  Be sure to visit Cherry Brown, GoGo McGregor and Miss Monarch M’s sites for information about upcoming performances and events.  And since you’ll thank me later if you go see them perform, you’re welcome in advance.  Until next time…

 
 

Sultry Kisses & Half-Naked Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick

 
 

IMAGES  ::  ALL IMAGES ©2014 ALLI WOODS FREDERICK PHOTOGRAPHY.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  USE OR DISPLAY WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED…WHICH MEANS DON’T STEAL OR USE MY STUFF ANYWHERE FOR ANY REASON WITHOUT ASKING FIRST, OKAY?  *WINK*  ::

 
 

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BE A GOOD WHATEVER

 

MEDIOCRITY, is not something for which to strive.  I don’t care what you do, be it butcher, baker or candlestick maker…

 

JUST REMEMBER

 

BE A GOOD WHATEVER

 

BE A GOOD WHATEVER TODAY.

(AND FOR THE RECORD AND IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW, YOU ARE ALREADY ARE GOOD, SO KEEP IT UP, DARLIN’.)

 
 

Kisses & Chaos,
Alli Woods Frederick

 
 

IMAGE  ::  BY BRAMANTOSETYAKI  ::

 
 

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